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  • Kristin Ritzau

Veggie of the Week: Zucchini

This week we are featuring a veggie many gardeners know well: zucchini! In some seasons, this incredible producer provides so much bounty that we are left scratching our heads what else we can do with it. We hope to give you some great ideas this week! As a member of Cucurbitaceae plant family, it is related to melons, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers. It is also known as a courgette. Zucchinis are high in Vitamin A but also potassium and vitamin C, among other nutrients. It is rich in antioxidants and fiber.

Incredibly versatile, zucchini can be sautéed, BBQed, stuffed, shredded and added to soups. There are many recipes for zucchini bread, so rather than introduce another bread, we wanted to feature other unique ways of using and preserving the zucchini. Explore below for zucchini relish, zucchini fritters, zucchini boats (two ways!), and a shaved zucchini salad. Enjoy and let us know which ones you test out!


Zucchini Fritters

4 cups grated zucchini

Salt and Pepper

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup crumpled feta cheese

4 large eggs, white and yolks separated

½ cup thinly sliced green onion

2 Tbspn chopped Italian parsley

1 Tbspn chopped fresh mint

3 Tbspn olive oil

Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for serving

Place grated zucchini in a colander with 2 teaspoons salt for 15 minutes. Squeeze out any excess liquid.

Stir flour, baking powder, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small mixing bowl.

In another bowl stir together zucchini, feta, egg yolks, green onions, parsley, and mint. Add in flour mixture.

Beat egg whites into soft peaks and then fold into zucchini mixture.

Warm oil in frying pan. Drop four spoonfuls of batter into the pan. Fry for about 1 ½ minutes per side or until crisp. Transfer to paper towel lined plate and season with salt and pepper. Add more oil to pan for additional batches. Serve with sour cream or yogurt.

Adapted from Tashe De Serio and Jodi Liano. Cooking From the Farmer’s Market (Welden Owen: San Francisco, 2010).

Zucchini Relish

Day One

5 cups zucchini

1.5 cups onions

2 red bell peppers

3 tablespoons salt

Day Two

1.5 cups sugar

½ Tbspn cornstarch

½ tspn turmeric

1.5 cups apple cider vinegar 5% acidity

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

½ teaspoon celery seed


Grate zucchini, onions and bell peppers in a food processor or by hand. in food processor, along with onion and bell peppers.

Mix grated vegetables with the salt in large non-reactive bowl and let stand overnight.

Next morning, rinse thoroughly in a large strainer and drain well.

Place in large saucepan and add all remaining ingredients.

Bring to boil and boil for 30 minutes.

Pack in clean, sterile jars for water bath processing or place in fridge.

Adapted from https://www.food.com/recipe/zucchini-relish-236998

Zucchini Boats: Two ways


Tuna Salad Boats

1 large zucchini or two medium zucchinis

Salt and pepper

1 5 oz can of tuna

1 stalk of celery, chopped

½ small red or yellow onion, diced

¼ cup mayo or Greek yogurt

2 Tbspn chopped dill

1 Tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbspn lemon juice

¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash zucchinis and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the middle with the seeds – making a trench. Place on rimmed baking sheet or baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 12-15 minutes until just tender.

While zucchinis are cooking, mix all remaining ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.

Remove zucchinis from oven and stuff with tuna mixture, followed by cheese. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Adapted from: https://healthyfitnessmeals.com/tuna-melt-zucchini-boats/

Cheeseburger boats



Olive Oil

1 lb. Ground beef

1 small diced yellow onion

Salt and Pepper

1 cup chopped tomato

½ cup chopped dill pickle

3 medium zucchini

2 green onions, chopped

Sauce

1 Tbspn butter

1 Tbspn flour

1 cup milk

1 Tbspn Dijon mustard

1 ½ cups shredded gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash zucchinis and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the middle with the seeds – making a trench. Place on rimmed baking sheet or baking dish.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.

In a large bowl mix tomatoes, pickles with the beef and onions.

Melt butter in skillet over low heat and whisk flour in for one minute. Slowly add in milk and mustard whisking the whole time. Bring to low simmer and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat and put in 1 cup of cheese, stirring so it melts smoothly.

Stir the cheese sauce into the bowl with rest of ingredients. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Spoon the meat into the zucchini boats, sprinkle the tops with the remaining ½ cup of Gouda.

Bake 25-30 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with green onions to serve.

Adapted from: https://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/cheeseburger-stuffed-zucchini/

Shaved Zucchini Salad

Mix together:

Juice of 1 lemon

3-4 Tbspn olive oil

½ teaspoon honey

Salt and pepper

Toss with:

2 medium zucchini shaved lengthwise in long strips. (You can discard the middle with the seeds).

1 cups grated or shaved Parmesan cheese

½ cup basil leaves, torn or lightly chopped

½ cup mint, torn or lightly chopped

¼ almonds or cashews or pistachios

Enjoy!



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